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Comparing counseling and dignity therapies in home care patients: A pilot study

  • David Rudilla (a1), Laura Galiana (a2), Amparo Oliver (a2) and Pilar Barreto (a2)

Abstract

Objective:

Several studies have successfully tested psychosocial interventions in palliative care patients. Counseling is the technique most often employed. Dignity therapy (DT) has recently emerged as a tool that can be utilized to address patients' needs at the end of life. The aims of our study were to examine the effects of DT and counseling and to offer useful information that could be put into practice to better meet patients' needs.

Method:

We developed a pilot randomized controlled trial at the Home Care Unit of the General University Hospital of Valencia (Spain). Some 70 patients were assigned to two therapy groups. The measurement instruments employed included the Patient Dignity Inventory (PDI), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Brief Resilient Coping Scale (BRCS), the GES Questionnaire, the Duke–UNC-11 Functional Social Support Questionnaire, and two items from the EORTC Quality of Life C30 Questionnaire (EORTC–QLQ–C30).

Results:

The results of repeated-measures t tests showed statistically significant differences with respect to the dimensions of dignity, anxiety, spirituality, and quality of life for both groups. However, depression increased in the DT group after the intervention, and there were no differences with respect to resilience. Therapy in the counseling group did not negatively affect depression, and resilience did improve. When post-intervention differences between groups were calculated, statistically significant differences in anxiety were found, with lower scores in the counseling group (t(68) = –2.341, p = 0.022, d = 0.560).

Significance of Results:

Our study provided evidence for the efficacy of dignity therapy and counseling in improving the well-being of palliative home care patients, and it found better results in the counseling therapy group with respect to depression, resilience, and anxiety.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to David Rudilla, Servicios de Hospitalización Domiciliaria, Consorcio Hospital General Universitario Valencia, Tres Cruces 2, 46014 Valencia, Spain. E-Mail: rudilla_dav@gva.es.

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Keywords

Comparing counseling and dignity therapies in home care patients: A pilot study

  • David Rudilla (a1), Laura Galiana (a2), Amparo Oliver (a2) and Pilar Barreto (a2)

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